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Trivial pursuit of trivial people — nailed!

24 September 2009


Sort of like “Jeopardy”, my trivia question was in the form of an answer —

Princess Katherine Amelia of Holland and Prince Guillaume of Luxembourg share something in common with every Mexican president EXCEPT Vicente Fox.

“…” got it right: the two royals have Latin American born mothers (and Vicente Fox doesn’t).

I’ll be  sending  a $10 (US) donation in”…”‘s name to their favorite charity (and here’s hoping it’s not something bizarre like The Minutemen) OR — if it’s “…”‘s druthers — and they have a mailing address  in the U.S. — I can send them a copy of Gods, Gachupines and Gringos from Barnes and Nobel (which just started listing the book, but isn’t going to post reviews until they have orders).

When I was hunting down the weird connection  between Porfirio Diaz’ troublesome son-in-law and the Princes of Monaco, I ended up on a paper chase (er, pixel-chase) through Wikipedia.

Princess Katherine Amelia of Holland is the oldest child of the crown prince of the Netherlands, Willem-Alexander, Prince of Orange-Nassau.  Her job in life is to wait for her grandmother, Queen Beatrix to die, so she can sit around waiting for her dad to kick off.

Mrs. Prince Orange-Nassau is the former Máxima Zorreguieta Cerruti, of Argentina. There was some controversy at the time of their marriage, Máxima’s dad having been a cabinet secretary during the Videla junta and was wanted for questioning in a case before the international court in The Hague (where the Dutch royal family happens to live)… which would have made walking his daughter down the aisle a bit awkward.

WhenGrand Duke Henri of Luxembourg goes to the big palace in the sky, Prince Guillume moves up from mere Duke to Grand Duke. His mom, the present Grand Duchess, was born in Cuba in 1956 as María Teresa Mestre y Batista-Falla was raised in New York and Switzerland after her family moved (rapidly) in 1959.

I’d already known about Elena Poniatowska (born Princess Hélène Elizabeth Louise Amélie Paula Dolores Poniatowska Amor in Paris in 1932).  Royalty, but only sorta.   The family produced most of the kings of Poland, but Poland had elected kings and it went out of the kingdom business when it was partitioned in 18th century. When Poland reappeared on the map after World War I, it was a Republic, and by that time there were passels of Poniatowkis had scattered around Europe.  Her father was a Polish, however, the Republic’s Ambassador to France.

Poniatowska — on top or her descent from the Polish family — might squeak  into the Euro-royal class (at least the minor leagues) on her Mexican mother’s side alone.  She is a distant descendant of Augustín the first (and last) emperor of Mexico (the Empire of the self-proclaimed emperor, and his empire, only lasted from May 1822 until March 1823, but long enough to get his heirs into the royal club).

Despite those handicaps, she grew up to be a normal Mexican lefty intellectual …  she may have royal blood, but as a Lopez Obradorista, she doesn’t have to wear a silly hat.


(Plain Elena Poniatowska, Grand Duchess Maria-Teresa, Princess Máxima)

4 Comments leave one →
  1. 21 September 2009 6:17 am

    not annoying a**holes?

  2. ... permalink
    23 September 2009 10:55 am

    Every Mexican president? From Guadalupe Victoria? Their moms were… dunno, from “nice families”? But that would leave out Benito Juárez. Aargh. Not fair. More clues?

  3. ... permalink
    23 September 2009 10:18 pm

    She was from Spain! Okay, so their moms are all Latin americans? Maxima from Argentina and Maria Teresa from Cuba.
    And now I know more about the European royalty than I ever cared to learn.

  4. ... permalink
    24 September 2009 9:59 pm

    Yay! But I don’t have a favorite charity… And I don’t live in the US…

    Um, I’m guessing making a donation to Rosario Ibarra’s Eureka Comittee might get you in trouble, so I’ll take a link from your site and go with “Vida Digna Mexico”. It looks like a very good cause.

    Thank you so much for this. This kind of relationship with one’s readership is something else. I knew there was a reason I read you every morning with the daily paper. =)

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